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Outrage After Teen’s Probation Sentence

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KELLER (CBSDFW.COM) - The anger over Ethan Couch’s sentence is getting bigger.

He’s admitted to driving drunk and killing four people. Couch could have received a 20 year prison sentence by Judge Jean Boyd.

Not only have American news organization picked up on the outrage over Couch’s sentence of 10 years probation, but international media outlets have too.

“We think there is a gross double standard for privilege versus those who live in poverty,” says Rev. Kyev Tatum President of Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Tatum like so many others is outraged at the sentence handed down by Judge Boyd. She said in court that she didn’t believe the 16-year-old would receive the necessary therapy and treatment in jail.

“If this judge believes that this young man can get better treatment through rehabilitation as opposed to being incarcerated then we simply want that same kind of treatment for all these other young troubled kids who also could benefit from treatment,” says Rev. Tatum.

Radio host Ben Ferguson is sounding off too.

He’s in support of a petition that is calling for Judge Boyd to be removed from the bench.

“I think we should start calling for her to resign… put more pressure on her. I personally do not have faith in her ability to be judge on the bench,” says Ferguson who has a talk show on news talk radio 820 WBAP “There is a reason why we have jails and it’s to put people in and hold them accountable when they committee heinous crimes.”

CBS 11 legal expert Jerry Loftin says the 10 years probation makes sense.

“What that means is that if in 9 years 9 months he screws up they put you in prison for 10 years,” says Loftin “In this situation Judge Boyd made some very wise decisions to make sure he’s continually supervised.”

But that isn’t easing the minds of people angry and worried about the victims’ families.

Melody McDonald, a spokesperson with the District Attorney’s office says, “At this point, we are exploring all options, but we are not aware an avenue for appeal.”

The terms of Couch’s probation have not been determined by Judge Boyd yet. Judge Boyd is not commenting and says it would be an ethical violation for her to talk about pending cases.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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